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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

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Member Reviews

"The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina" is a gorgeous story rooted in family and the magic that binds us together. I have enjoyed Córdova's young adult novels in the past, and her adult fiction debut does not disappoint. I'm a sucker for magical realism, and this novel reminded me of the best of Isabel Allende. 

Let this wonderful novel transport you!
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"𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦. 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘥𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦."

𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗜𝗡𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘 𝗢𝗙 𝗢𝗥𝗤𝗨𝗜́𝗗𝗘𝗔 𝗗𝗜𝗩𝗜𝗡𝗔 is a beautiful and otherworldly family drama that sucked me in from page one. The Latinx story revolves around the large Montoya family who grew up in an enchanted home conjured by the mysterious Orquídea Divina. Her children and grandchildren have long since left her and the magic-adjacent land behind, but when they're summoned by the matriarch to collect their inheritance before she dies, they return to their birthplace hoping to learn the history she's kept secret their entire lives.

Códova weaves an incredibly lush tale filled with memorable characters you won't soon forget. I don't normally read fantasy or books with a lot of magical realism but this one layered the kind of a multigenerational family saga I love with vivid imagery and a darkly captivating mystery in an engrossing way.

If you like books by Alice Hoffman or enjoyed Addie LaRue, give this a read. 

4.5 stars

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for the copy to review.
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Unforgettable!  Córdova’s adult debut is breathtaking, lyrical, and spellbinding. 

Córdova crafts an absorbing tale from beginning to end with enchanting characters, rich dialogue, lush atmosphere, magic, and mysticism to bring this book to life in bibliophiles hands. 

The “red book” is definitely an alluring story sure to bring readers to Córdova’s mesmerizing backlist.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina further cements  Córdova as one of the world’s most gifted storytellers. 

Diane Morasco, Amazon International Bestselling Author
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The plot of this magical tale is whip-fast and entrancing--read it in one day. Perfect for fall and for anyone who likes to suspend disbelief a little.
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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a luminous book, matching lyrical prose to a compelling story filled with a rich and messy cast of characters. As magical as it all is, that magic - both that in the story, and the magic of its prose - is always rooted in raw, real emotions and humanity. "I couldn't put it down" is such a cliche, but absolutely true - I stayed up all night reading this book, completely immersed in the glimmering starlight of its words.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a very entertaining book to read! I loved the magical realism throughout as well as the well developed characters. It feels like  a YA novel. It has a lot of things in it: family saga, mystery, and much more. It was a bit long, and  somehow I felt parts not so integral to the story could have been cut.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for providing me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

My first read from this author and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the historical fantasy feel of the book and would recommend to everyone to read.
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!

This was an amazing book about family bonds, curses and strange magic. A story of the bonds in families that tie them together. The relationships among the family members were heartwarming and very sweet. I couldn't put this book down because in the first half this book was wonderful with raw emotions. But after Marimar inherits the property for awhile I felt as if there were little to no emotions but it got better after that. It was beautiful how the author effortlessly resolves the story in the end. If you love family secrets this is the book for you!

3.75 stars!💖
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Zoraida Cordova's fantastically wondrous, dream-like, and imaginative novel follows in the footsteps of the South American magical realism tradition, set in Ecuador and the U.S., it is a multi-generational family drama that overflows with the inexplicable, and the author's outstanding gifts with her fascinating and stellar characterisations. The Montoya family have been summoned to receive their inheritance, to the deathbed of their matriarch, Orquidea, who has not left the protected home at Four Rivers in Ecuador for some time for any reason. However, their curiosity about the family secrets are to be left unsatisfied as a transformed Orquidea departs this life in a manner that surprises.

The narrative goes back and forth in time to reveal Orquidea's colourful, complicated, and intriguing life, joining the circus, the consequences of the decisions she makes, and the tragedies and challenges she faces, which includes abuse. Years later the descendents lives have changed in different ways, thanks to Orquida, using her talents to bestow surprising benefits. However, there is trouble brewing, the family line is facing dangers and threats, that have the descendants having to overcome their issues, Miramer and Rey with their close connections and Rhiannon, Tatinelly's daughter, travelling back to Ecuador to save the family, to get to the truth, the protective magic and the secrets.

It can be hard to follow all the twists and turns in this complex story, and much is left ambiguous, and unexplained, but this makes no difference to the joy I derived from reading this beautiful novel, so brilliantly written, that it mesmerises. Cordova draws on and is inspired by the rich tradition of South American myth, legend and folklore, and its culture and perspectives, painting on a wide canvas in this story of magic, its protection, of the power of family and the trauma that can travel through the generations. This is for those readers who love fantasy and appreciate magical realism in particular. A glorious read that I recommend highly. Many thanks to Atria for an ARC.
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Zoraida Cordova has written an enchanting story full of magical realism and descriptive prose. The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina  tells the story of a family. As Orquidea Montoya is dying she calls on her descendants back to her home, a place she has not left since she was established there, to get their inheritance. They all have known that Orquidea is magic, that things with her are not the same as with everyone else. They have heard stories of Orquidea's childhood of how she made her way through the world differently. And her death only confirms all of this. This book tells her story and the story of those that come after her as they try to piece together what led Orquidea to this place and the roots of her magic. 

Absolutely loved this one. I was not expecting it to be as suspenseful as it was. Such a beautiful family story with lots of supernatural elements.
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This is a piece of beautiful, winding storytelling, picking up elements from the past and the present, looping in the experiences of many Montoya family members across multiple generations. It's a fantasy with a haunting tone, the unraveling of a bargain struck and the family built on it. The book moves at a thoughtful pace, more about family and reflection, history and introspection than action or drama. It has the feel of one of protagonist Rey's paintings, a surreal filter blurring magic with mundane, leaving much in question.

The story begins with matriarch Orquídea Divina's letter to her far-flung descendants; her death is imminent, and all are summoned to come collect their inheritance. Stubborn and proud, bound by secrets and pacts, she hosts a final family gathering that promises to be tempestuous at best. Her family cannot fathom Orquídea's mysterious past, and she refuses to enlighten them. In the years after her spectacular exit, that very past catches up with the Montoyas, sowing tragedy and revelation in its wake.

I found this to be a work of beautiful writing. I think its strength lies in the exploration of deeper themes, the rushing undercurrent of the story. However, I think the focus on what each action means over how it was experienced left me more detached than I prefer. If you enjoy fantasy with a literary edge, and if you love stories about family bonds both complex and profound, this might be a perfect read for you.
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Fresh-voiced multigenerational magical realism in the tradition of Latin American greats Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez. Fans of Alice Hoffman, Alix Harrow, Neil Gaiman, and Erin Morgenstern should check out this adult debut from Zoraida Córdova!

When Orquídea Divina Montoya invites her children and grandchildren back to the Four Rivers valley to attend her upcoming funeral and collect their inheritance, her call goes out far and wide — and as impossible to ignore as her quasi-zombie rooster Gabo who seems to have an unlimited number of lives. The invitation has to go far to reach all the stretching branches of the Montoya family tree. This mysterious and powerful matriarch has herself come far from the time when she was alone, an outcast, a "whisper of a girl who wanted to become a Scream." But some things that she put well behind her are beginning to catch up. Things her family doesn't know about or understand. How could they? That valley they called home was as thick and mysterious with secrets as it was with magic. True to form, Orquídea's passing causes even more family drama. Even as it sparks untapped talent and strength, it provides refuge, provokes danger, and of course generates more questions than any one generation could possibly understand or answer.

"There were hundreds of things Marimar wanted to know. Why is this happening? Why can't we stop it? Why didn't you try to tell me sooner? Who are you? Why do this? What broke your heart so completely that its splinters found their way through generations?"

It's up to Marimar and her cousins to track down some answers before a stalking darkness destroys the last of the Montoya heirs.

"The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina" is lyrical, character-driven literary fantasy written in an effective dual timeline that reveals Orquídea's early life in Ecuador and the current lives of her grandchildren as they explore and try to understand the power and danger of that legacy. As with most magical realism, the system of magic isn't well explained (or explained at all for most of the book) and may be rooted in traditions that the reader is unfamiliar with. That may frustrate some readers but adds an interesting dimension to a story that is saturated with secrets and explores the lives of people responding to the frustrations of marginalization and rejection. If the early, character-heavy, character-development parts of the tale don't grab you, stick around for the mystery that unfolds in the later parts.


Topics and themes: legacy and inheritance, heritage, magic, elitism, colorism, love, heartbreak, treachery, found family, outcasts, Ecuadorian and Latin American culture, refuge, strength, colonialism, secrets, communication, wishes, fame, fate, creativity,

Content notes: bigotry, bullying, poverty, abusive step-family, absent father/parent abandonment, death by drowning (backstory), colonialism, anti-LGBTQ bullying (backstory), enslavement, infidelity, circus/sideshow, death by insects, body horror, running away from home, death of parents, necromancy, strong language, brief but specific sexual content

My thanks to #NetGalley, Atria, and Librofm for a digital ARC and LRC!
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Thank you so much to Atria Books and Netgalley for letting me read an eARC of The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina! I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about this book, because some of the reviews said that it was going to be literary fantasy or magical realism and I normally have a hard time getting fully sucked into those kinds of books (100% a me issue, not a those books issue) but I didn’t have that problem with this one at all!

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina 5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.

Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

Let’s start out by talking about that gorgeous cover! I love it so much! It’s so striking and you don’t fully tie in exactly who it is/what it means until the end, but I think it was perfect (man, cover artists are so talented). Now, onto the book itself. I really liked how we got both the current day story with Orquídea’s descendants as well as the past with her journey itself. I do wish the delineation between past and present was a little clearer, because sometimes it took me a few sentences to figure out which timeline I was in. I really liked the characters- specifically Marimar. She was definitely my favorite. The plot itself was super interesting and I definitely enjoyed it, but if you weren’t paying attention, it was easy to lose it. Also, the plotline did move a little slower in the first half to two thirds of the book whereas the last half to third of the book moved a lot faster (but it didn’t bother me at all). The book itself was so well written, and while I’m not normally one for fancy prose or anything, there was just something about Zoraida Córdova’s writing that I loved. I felt transported from the first page itself. Is this was the book that we had been taught in school when we were being taught about magical realism, I’m sure I would like it way more than the book we did read. All in all, I loved this book and I highly recommend it! The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina came out on September 7th, so make sure y’all go out and grab it today!
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The thing I love about this author is how she weaves magic into a contemporary setting so effortlessly that it feels possible that this could just be real life. Little things that might have another explanation or could be magic, who knows? I'm so drawn into stories like that and if you like magical realism, this is a book you should check out.

The story is broken into four parts, with the first part being the longest as it introduces us to the main characters and sets up the plot. It was a bit long, but captivating and made me want to know more about Orquidea and her history. I also liked getting to know Orquidea's large family, which is something I wish I had.

After part one, the pacing picks up and the story goes quickly. Time passes, some of the characters travel to Ecuador to trace their grandmother's past, and there's a killer on the loose. I found the writing descriptive and almost lyrical at times. It's easy to get absorbed and binge through to the end.

The Latinx culture in this is well written and does a great job of introducing readers to something they may know nothing about. The magic is fun and I wish there was more of it! I'm so glad I had a chance to read this book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the copy.
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This book was divine in every way. First of all I want to say I'm from Guayaquil, Ecuador. Born and lived there for 12 years before moving to Italy. This book takes place partly in Ecuador and the emotions this fact brought me were extraordinary. I didn't know I needed to feel my brith country and roots represented until I read this book. It also made me crave food I hadn't eaten in a while. So yeah, this book was already great but to me it was so much better than that for the reasons I just wrote.
The way the author incorporated magical elements to a family tale was just perfect. The story spans a few years and we have many chapters set in the past. Most chapters are from Marimar's POV. Marimar is one of the descendants of Orquidea Divina. The story is so magical I think I can't do it justice with just a few words.
You will be scared, curious and you'll smile only to proceed with a gasp and a few tears. This book truly has it all!
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Part mystery, all magic, this tale of a family with a secretive matriarch has a wealth of surprises, twists, and turns. To name even half of them would be to give away the journey her progeny take in revealing the past and fighting for their present, but I will say: zombie rooster.
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This book was a masterpiece of magical realism. I loved the characters, the storytelling, and the magic system! I loved how the story unfolded too, it felt almost like a mystery! I loved the way the timeline went back and forth from Orquidea's past to the present day, it was so exciting and kept my attention the whole time! I thought the pacing was great too.
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Magical realism at its best.  Beautifully written, the author evokes the pain and love inherent in being part of a large, lopsided l
Latin American family.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was given a free ARC.  I am leaving my honest review.
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The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina: Honestly this book is magical realism weirdness but it ended up working for me. Cordova delivers beautiful prose that gives me 10 thousand doors of January vibes. 

Orquidea is dying so she invites her descendants to come collect their inheritance. Afterwards, three of Orquidea’s grandchildren left with so many questions, deal with the manifestation of their inheritances over the years. When people in their family start dying they hunt, desperate, for answers. We also follow a young Orquidea and see how all the weirdness started. 

Adult content note: moderate swearing and mild sexual content
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Hands down the best book Zoraida Cordova has written!

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a literary fantasy full of strange magic, family secrets, and heartache. This Latinx story follows the Montoya family, not strangers to unexplained occurrences, curses, and everyday magic. When the children and grandchildren of matriarch Orquidea receive letters asking them to return home before she dies to receive their inheritance, things begin to unravel. I don't want to spoil anything because this is a story worth experiencing for yourself, but we get a perspective in the past following the life and history of Orquidea, and also a few perspectives of her grandchildren.

I thought this was achingly beautiful and otherworldly. It deals with difficult topics such as death, neglect, loss of a child, and abusive relationships. It's a story about people making misakes, trying to do better for their children but causing pain along the way. But it's also a hopeful story and a beautiful one. The audio narration is fabulous (thank you Libro.FM for the audiobook!) and worth listening too if audiobooks are your thing. I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.
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